Let’s start with a game…

  • See yourself in your bed ready to sleep under your favorite blanket with the most comfortable pillow.
  • Now remember what it feels like to wake up on your own after a deep sleep without any interruption.
  • Think about the moment you got into bed after a long day.

How are you feeling right now? Did you inadvertently smile? Do you feel a sense of peace?

Imagine if the thought of sleep makes you happy then what sleep actually does to your brain.

Is sleep really important?

Sleep is required for proper cognitive and behavioral functions. Sleep deprivation can disable the ability to make decisions, focus, and process information, and can cause attention lapses and mood swings. Different age groups require different hours of sleep per night to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The younger the person, the more sleep he will need.

National Sleep Foundation, America Recommends the following hours of daily sleep for different age groups.

age category Recommended Sleep Hours
0-3 months 14-17 hours
4-11 months 12-15 hours
1-2 years 11-14 hours
3-5 years 10-13 hours
6-13 years 9-11 hours
13-17 years 8-10 hours
18-25 years 7-9 hours
16-64 years 8-9 hours
65 years and above 7-8 hours

In addition, sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk for a number of medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, poor mental health and even early death.

catch up with sleep

We all know and have experienced how sleep affects our mood. We feel mentally exhausted, our situational awareness is impaired and we become irritable. Perhaps it is because of these behavioral aspects that the phrase ‘wake up on the wrong side of the bed’ came into existence. But it’s all fun and games until sleep deprivation becomes a regular part of your life.

Sleep affects our mental and emotional health and thus is related to serious conditions like depression, anxiety etc. Sleep and mental health share a mutual relationship. Mental disorders make it difficult for a person to sleep well and lack of sleep worsens the condition. The situation could be on the other side as well. A proper sleep schedule helps in keeping mental illnesses at bay and can help a person during the process of recovery.

Sleep and mental health are both complex issues that are influenced by many factors, but given their close relationship, it is plausible to believe that maintaining sleep hygiene has a positive impact on mental health and can lead to recovery from mental illnesses. may be a component of

story of two friends

there are four main stages of sleep, where the brain and eye behave specifically to give you a refreshing feeling when you wake up. Parts of the brain that ramp up or down their functions such as enabling better thinking, learning and memory affect emotional and mental health and various other interpersonal and intrapersonal functions.

Adequate sleep helps to record and illuminate emotional information such as thoughts and memories. Thus sleep deprivation damages the consolidation of positive emotional content. It is closely related to a person’s mood and emotional state and can be extended to mental health disorders and their severity.

obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) There is another aspect of sleep that has been linked to mental health. OSA is a disorder where a sleeping person stops breathing, causing their body’s oxygen level to drop and wakes up several times during the night. OSA is mostly diagnosed in people with existing mental conditions. This can affect their physical health and increase their risk of serious mental distress.

While this can create a negative feedback loop, it also leads to a potentially positive cycle. For example, a focus on improving sleep can have a consequent benefit of reducing symptoms of mental illness.

Tips to maintain sleep hygiene

1. Increase Your Exposure to Daylight

Regular exposure to sunlight helps our body maintain an efficient 24-hour timer called the circadian rhythm. It affects the brain, body and hormones, maintaining a time bound schedule for when to wake up and when it is time to sleep.
Bright light keeps circadian rhythms healthy by improving daytime energy and confirming good night’s sleep.

2. Limit Screen Exposure After Sunset

This again has to do with the circadian rhythm. Electronic screens emit a characteristic blue light that tricks the brain into thinking it is still day. Wearing glasses for devices or installing a blue lens filter is one way to deal with the situation, but it’s best to avoid looking at screens for at least an hour before bedtime.

3. Control the urge to nap during the day

Taking a nap of at least 15-20 minutes a day is considered beneficial for the body and mind. However, taking naps longer than this during the day can interfere with your night’s sleep. This can confuse your internal clock, causing you to struggle to sleep through the night.

4. Create an atmosphere

The bedroom environment is an important factor in the quality of one’s sleep. The temperature of the room, the position and location of the objects, the overall arrangement and external light and noise make up the whole mood.

Customizing the environment in which you sleep can have surprising results. Minimize external disturbances and artificial light from electronic equipment. Try to keep the room temperature pleasant. Make sure your mattress and pillow are individually comfortable. And remember to always dust your bed before sleeping.

5. Increase Your Melatonin Consumption

Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone that is produced by the body when it is dark. However, the current lifestyle disrupts its production cycle. Consuming melatonin-rich foods like tart cherries, nuts, bananas, oats, ginger, etc., at least 2 hours before bedtime can help you sleep better.

6. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol Late in the Evening

What we eat and when we eat it directly affects our body. Caffeine blocks receptors that bind to sleep-inducing proteins. It stimulates the nervous system which makes it difficult for you to sleep whenever you want.

Alcohol disrupts the production of sleep hormones in your body and is a proven cause of the symptoms of sleep apnea and disrupted sleep patterns. On a large scale, it stimulates the production of melatonin during the night, thereby disturbing the body’s circadian rhythm.

sleepy heads

We have well established that sleep is good for us and makes us healthy. But as the old saying goes, too much of anything is not good. So how much sleep is too much sleep? Chart The above shows different hours of sleep suitable for people of different ages but this is not the case. Your activity level, lifestyle and general health also determine how much sleep you should get. There are many sleep disorders like hypersomnia, insomnia, narcolepsy etc which can cause serious health problems. Read this blog to know more about sleep disorders, their side effects and treatments.

While sleeplessness is more closely linked to mental illnesses, the latter is also an alarming sign. Prolonged sleep or hypersomnia has been seen to worsen the mental state of people. A person may sleep more because they lack the motivation to face the day and further feel that they have missed out on life when they wake up. It also works in the opposite way. When a person feels low they resort to sleeping more to escape from reality and so the negative cycle continues.

ways to avoid excessive sleep

1. Set a Consistent Schedule

We’re all guilty of hitting the snooze button when the alarm goes off in the morning. Most of us set multiple alarms to wake ourselves up. What we don’t realize is that by doing so we are preparing our brains to be lazy and suggest that this is acceptable. We must forget it. according to The 21/90 Day Rule by Dr. Maxwell MaltzIt takes 21 days to form a habit and 90 days to make a permanent change in lifestyle. Try to fix a time to wake up in the morning and stick to it for the next 3 weeks i.e. 21 days. Similarly, set a bedtime and stick to it. This will anchor your body’s circadian rhythm and avoid sleep deprivation and sleep debt.

2. Streamline Your Day

“Weary minds do not plan well. Sleep earlier, plan later.” — Walter Rischow

When we have a full day our sleep is unknowingly at stake. Tight deadlines and the highly regressive yet popular workaholic culture have further diminished our need for timely sleep. It is advisable to prepare an agenda for the coming day to eliminate unnecessary. Give yourself some free time to go to sleep at the designated time before going to sleep. This will help you lead a more settled life and keep your mind free of avoidable issues, therefore, allowing you to sleep more easily. You will have high motivation to get up on time and do the pre-determined tasks. Completing tasks and sleeping on time creates a positive feedback loop for the individual.

3. Perform a Bedtime Ritual

A relaxation routine before bed can help you detach from your previous day and the experiences that may be occupying your mind making it difficult to sleep. In this case meditation, reading a book, listening to soothing music or taking a bath can be of great relief. Getting good sleep will lead to a healthy lifestyle pattern.

make good nights

Sleep is the bridge that connects our mental health to our body. It is given by nature to perform important healing functions that help us put the world in perspective and re-focus on the essence of who we are. Having a healthy sleep pattern is essential for a healthy mind.

If self-help doesn’t work, you can consult a doctor. Maintain a sleep diary for about 2 weeks before going to the doctor to better understand your case. Diagnosis involves studying your medical history to look for any underlying psychological cause. Based on the results, the doctor will suggest treatment. If your problem persists, you can consult a sleep disorder specialist.

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